Torsion or Bloat ...( GDV..gastric dilitation/volvulus ) .....is a life threatening condition.......it can and does claim a great number of lives every year.
The condition occurs when the stomach fills with air or gases from fluids or food, which can't escape ( Bloat )........this in turn can cause the stomach to flip over ( Torsion )
TIME IS A KEY FACTOR !
As the owner, you play a major part in getting your dog through a Torsion............and that is recognising the signs and getting the dog to the vet as quickly as possible.
A Torsion can happen anytime and anywhere............don't make the mistake of thinking it will never happen to your dog.
Know how your dog acts and behaves, especially after meal times....as this will help you notice any difference in behaviour.
Stand behind your dog and remember the shape of the body from the middle towards the rear end..........as sometimes the swelling of the abdomen can be easily seen like this...............and learn how this area feels before and after meals.
Check with your vet that they are able to deal with the condition..... ( this isn't as silly as it might sound )..........and also find out where the out of hours emergency vet is located......( as they are often in a different location to your own vet )
Have the vets number to hand and don't be fobbed off on the phone with..... "Give it an hour and call back if the dog is the same"...........remember....TIME IS THE KEY.........and it's down to you at the begining.
Make sure you have insurance details/paperwork to hand and take it with you...........or make sure you can pay for the emergency treatment as it will be expensive..........and the vet might not even start treatment without making sure you can pay for it.
If you don't drive or have a car.........work out how you can get the dog to the vets.
Covering these details will save time and could make the difference between life and death.
Below is a list of "Possible" symptoms and behaviour you might see.
You might see one or more but learn what to look for.
* Enlarged abdomen, hard to the touch
* Trying, but unable to vomit or belch.......Retching or dry heaves
* Trying to get under things or behind furniture etc......in a sort of panic state
* Restlessness/anxiousness, Acting uncomfortable, unwilling to move around
* Excessive salivating, mucous or froth around the mouth
* Gasping for air
* Shortness of breath
* Pale gums
* Extreme lethargy
* Unable to rise
* Laying on one side of the body and unable to rise
IF IN DOUBT.......CALL THE VET
TORSION IS LIFE THREATENING
GDV - Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus : (Bloat and Torsion) :
(Bloating and Twisting of the Stomach)
What is bloat/torsion?
If the stomach twists on itself, then the entrance and exit to the stomach will be blocked, causing it to dilate, as gas and fluid will collect. This becomes extremely uncomfortable for a dog, and the combination of twisting and stretching of the stomach cuts off the blood supply, leading quickly to a LIFE THREATENING EMERGENCY.
(Sometimes the stomach merely fills with air but does not twist, which is referred to as bloat. Bloat is less serious but will still need veterinary attention. It is not obvious from the outside if the stomach has twisted or not, so both should be treated as an emergency.)
What causes bloat/torsion?
The exact cause of a GDV is not fully understood. It occurs mostly when dogs have exercised within 2 hours of drinking a lot or eating a main meal. (It is thought that the extra weight in the stomach produces a pendulum effect, causing the stomach to twist.)
Large and giant breed dogs, especially those with deep, narrow chests (such as Great Danes, Flatcoated Retrievers, Setters, GSDs, and Afghan Hounds etc) are at higher risk than others. Bloat and torsion can occur in a dog of any age.
SIGNS OF A TORSION
The big warning sign is if a dog unsuccessfully attempts to vomit (retching). If your dog does this with or without any other signs it should always be treated as an emergency.
Swelling of your dogs stomach is another strong indicator of a torsion. This may not be as obvious as it sounds, since most of the stomach sits under the ribs in affected breeds. Therefore knowing the normal shape of your dog is very important.
Your dogs gums should be salmon pink. Other colours such as very pale or purplish may be seen with torsions. Whatever the cause, they indicate shock, a problem that should be reported to your vet.
Anxiety, panting, pacing, inability to settle and increased salivation all indicate pain, which are also often seen with a torsion.
TIME IS CRITICAL. If you suspect your dog may be suffering a torsion, seek veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY.
The incidence of torsions has been reported at around 6% in affected breeds. Thankfully it is a relatively rare occurrence, but because it is so serious all owners should be aware of it.
Increased awareness of owners in recent years has resulted in quicker treatment and the dog living rather than dying.
VET CONTACT NUMBER: DAY:
OUT OF HOURS: